With so many engineers out of work for far too long, Norm Morin offers an optimistic tale of transformation.
It gets disheartening (and I'm not the one out of work): I receive an increasing number of emails from engineers who've been out of work for more than a year, sometimes more than two.
We know that this is not a problem restricted to engineers, and we do know that the over-45 crowd seems to suffer more than other age groups.
It's always easy to say (when you're employed) "well that's not me. My situation would be entirely different were I laid off. I'm smarter, luckier, sexier etc." Maybe. Maybe not.
Often smarts or luck shines through because you reassess your situation and get honest with yourself.
That's Norm Morin's take.
He wrote about his post-layoff experiences, and it's worth sharing as inspiration:
"I was happily working as a manager of a small group of diagnostic engineers at a startup when high tech nuclear winter hit in 2002. In the first round of downsizing , all of my small group except for me was terminated. The next round of cuts pushed me out the door. After a few interviews, I realized that there was no hiring boom. The government was not going to “give” me a job. The government did provide unemployment benefits that are intended to assist people in transition. Opportunities were scarce so I made my own opportunity. NKC Systems was created to provide computer repair and consulting services. Initially, it was a one man show. I worked out of my home and car. While purchasing advertising with the local newspaper, I inquired about writing a computer column. The newspaper accepted my offer and “On the technical side” has appeared weekly in the Lowell Sun since February 2003. The column has helped establish me as a local computer expert. It took a few years but eventually, I had more work than I could handle. In 2007, NKC Systems opened an office in Dracut, Mass., and hired employees. A year later, NKC Systems was incorporated.
Everyone should never forget that they are responsible for managing their careers. While I earn much less than when I worked in engineering, I have more control over my destiny. It was no fun being laid off but it really was an opportunity that I was fortunate to recognize."
Well said. Thank you Norm.
Who else has been through a similar situation, looked in the mirror and reinvented him or herself?